According to the numbers, more e-commerce shoppers these days are getting their orders through buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS). Globally, more than 80% of internet users reported using in-store pickup for online orders last year — that’s 30% more than in 2017. 

Superconsumers use the service up to eight or more times a year and spend an average of $40 in additional purchases during their pickup visit. And the majority of users say the service has improved their overall shopping experience. 

So what is it about BOPIS that keeps customers coming back? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons more shoppers are choosing BOPIS and what, from their perspective, makes a positive pickup experience. 

Why shoppers want BOPIS

Higher shipping costs and other fees during checkout often cause customers to abandon their virtual carts, especially if they were expecting free and fast shipping. But they might change their minds if they see an option for free pickup at a nearby store. If that’s a same-day pickup option, even better.

While cost and immediacy are the primary reasons customers choose BOPIS, other factors include promotional offers, security concerns about home delivery, and the need to see items in person before buying. Sometimes, they’re already planning to visit the store and see BOPIS as a way to speed up the browsing and checkout process. 

Watch these consumers talk about how they use BOPIS to enrich their shopping experience:

What makes the best BOPIS experience

Positive shopping experiences secure future sales and build customer loyalty. But if something goes wrong, customers might not be willing to come back. When it comes to BOPIS, anything that slows down the visit or inconveniences the customer can leave a bad impression. 

For example, if an employee has to go to the back of the store to retrieve a customer’s pickup order, the approval rating of the BOPIS experience drops by 20%. Shoppers prefer that their orders are close by and easy to access, like on a shelf behind the counter or in a locker near the entrance.  

In a secret shopper evaluation, the stores with the highest BOPIS experience ratings have these traits in common:

  • The online ordering process is simple on both desktop and mobile devices, including checkout and payment.
  • Shoppers can easily find items online and understand which items are available for in-store pickup.  
  • Customers receive “order ready for pickup” notifications within two or three hours.
  • Retailers provide clear instructions for the pickup process once the order is ready, including information on designated parking, pickup location, and how to access the order (ask a customer service representative, retrieve from a locker, etc.).

What can make BOPIS even better

The shopping behaviors of frequent BOPIS users shed some light on how to take the experience to the next level. Some return to BOPIS for the ease of online purchasing coupled with the ability to try out products before committing, especially for items like apparel and electronics. For these customers, fitting rooms near the pickup area and easy return or exchange options will enhance the visit. 

The pickup method also plays a role in BOPIS advancement. Among BOPIS shoppers, 83% have already retrieved orders at the register, the most popular pickup location, but there’s a growing interest in trying out curbside pickup and trunk delivery. And 50% of buyers are attracted to the idea of using locker pickup. 

Want to get ahead of the competition and add locker pickup as an option for your customers? Learn more about Smiota’s smart package lockers